Named and shamed: Wagamama heads government list of minimum wage underpayers

Hazelwood House Loddiswell is now a private residence

Minister for Scotland Lord Duncan said: "It is simply unacceptable for bosses to rip off their staff by not paying at least minimum wage rates". So no need to leave tip for a few months, then.

In total, 179 employers were fined £1.3m by the government for underpaying their staff.

Wagamama, TGI Fridays, Marriott Hotels and Karen Millen are among the companies named and shamed by the government for failing to pay the legal minimum wage.

Karen Millen, which had to repay £9,847 to 28 workers, or almost £352 each, said an HMRC audit in 2016 had revealed that a number of staff were paid less than the minimum wage because they were required to wear the fashion brand's clothing, purchased at a discount.

Merthyr Tydfil located Porth Stores failed to pay two employees £4,454.29, Nath Stores in Stockton-on-Tees failed to pay £1,823.69 to one worker, Essex-based Plaistow Broadway Filling Stations failed to pay £535.53 to one worker, Wigan-based SM News failed to pay one worker £120, and East Riding-based Billy Rays Stores failed to pay one employee £161.67. Employers can be fined up to twice the total wage shortfall, subject to a maximum of £20,000 per worker.

"This is a historic payment which was paid past year, and we have since reimbursed team members", the company said.

£7.50, the national minimum wage. TGI Friday's had to repay £25 each to 2,300 staff. 9,200 minimum wage workers were cheated out of £1.1 million. "We have since updated our payroll system so that this can not happen again and reimbursed all impacted associates", a spokesperson said.

It comes ahead of the next rate rise on 1 April, when the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. The guilty companies, which include scores of small businesses, will have to pay back £2.4 million in wages and fines.

Around 9,200 workers will receive a total of £1.1m after their employers broke national minimum wage laws, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Wagamama blamed what it described as an inadvertent misunderstanding of how the minimum wage regulations applied to uniforms, adding "as soon as we were made aware of this in 2016 we acted immediately to correct the position".

A Wagamama spokesperson said the company had asked front-of-house staff to wear black jeans or a black skirt with their Wagamama-branded top.

'We have gladly made payments to current and previous employees who missed out dating back from 2016 to 2013'.

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